Letters – March 2

Climate change blame, barre versus bar, BCLC woes and more.

Deadlock of DysfunctionRe: “Naked Hell,” Letters, Feb. 24-March 2I thought I had heard every possible reason NDPers could think of for why the Green Party shouldn’t be elected, but suggesting we don’t understand parliamentary procedure or Roberts Rules of Order is a first. The BC NDP’s demonstrated use of these tools — asking the same question over and over (and over and over and over) again in Question Period, having individual MLAs give one or two-hour speeches during the “debate” on legislation — shows a profound disrespect for the purpose of democratic processes. The BC NDP and the BC Liberals continually use parliamentary procedure and rules of order in an unending game of partisan one-upmanship. In fact, only the election of some Green MLAs will change this deadlock of dysfunction.Jane Sterk, leader,Green Party of BCSpread the BlameRe: “All Wet? It’s Your Fault,” Opinion, Feb. 24-March 2An elegant piece of blame-spreading. Thank you for brightening my day.Geoff Barnard, Victoria Beef up courageRe: “All Wet? It’s Your Fault,” Opinion, Feb. 24-March 2Climate change and Eating meat  . . . you think there’s not much you can do. You also seem to think you can’t “give up that juicy steak” even though you know that factory farm-based meat industry is now considered one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases on earth. You can do it. I’m going to tell you why you can, and why you think you can’t.When people are confronted by large-scale problems like climate change and eating meat, a few things can happen: they feel overwhelmed, they feel uncomfortable, they react to those feelings.Reaction 1: people feel overwhelmed. An error in thinking happens: we have to give up meat, we have to stop driving!  We have to do it now! I can’t do that! The error is thinking we have to change ourselves all at once, which creates a pressure we react to. The all-or-nothing mentality, is a well known way to fail at change. So, break things into small steps. But don’t cop out of trying to change your habits based on all or nothing thinking.Reaction 2: some people actually sense they need to do something, and that there is a strong moral ramification to their  unwillingness to act. This creates discomfort. We don’t like discomfort and scramble to cover it. Reaction 3: some people actually have the courage to look at their discomfort. And from here hope begins.The courage to ask yourself:  what is this discomfort about? What is it I believe about myself when being asked to make changes? Maybe I don’t have to make it this big deal? Maybe I can decide, for example: if I can’t go totally vegetarian, I can eat less meat? Three days a week instead of seven?  Have a little faith in your own ability.If you do , you might be shocked at what you find. You are being the change you seek.S. Varon, Victoria Barre desireRe: “Dance of Desire,” Citysomthin’, Feb. 24-March 2Of “bars” and “barres.” In your piece about the African dancer from TDT you quote him describing being at the “bar,” when you actually meant “barre.” The first is the place you go to for a drink after the show, for which you may have warmed up by doing plies and tendus at the latter. I don’t mean to be a snoot, but I DO get fed up with our text-based culture’s close to complete ignorance about dance as an art form. This same ignorance has allowed a truly crap film like Black Swan to become a hit, and even an Oscar contender, which is truly sad. And the TDT show was super, BTW.Conrad Alexandrowicz, Victoria Odds are oddRe: “Budget secrets revealed,” PublicEye, Feb. 24-March 2I’m not surprised support for gaming in BC is declining. Perhaps if BCLC hadn’t lowered the win rate by four per cent, more of their customers would still be playing. When they tinker with the odds, it is clear that fairness isn’t part of the game. How random can it be when they can change the odds at will?BCLC not only lowered the win rate by four per cent, but they increased the cost of play: while both the amount and frequency of wins are lower, minimum bids on new slots are higher. Clients have noticed and are voting with their feet, i.e, they aren’t visiting casinos as much.While the change in odds may have been a short-term financial win for government, the decline in public support and confidence in the fairness of the game means BCLC’s decision to lower the win rates is a long-term loser. Now they are talking about electronically linking their slots. Will they use that information to further restrict win rates for individual clients who are tracked using BC Gold cards?Does this mean they are further artificially controlling what used to be a random process? Will the government even tell clients what the new “linked” rules are? BCLC doesn’t appear to understand the cause effect relationships at work here, or they would restore the old (higher) win rates, quit tinkering with the odds, and play fair with the gaming public. Then again, transparency in government seems to be a lot to ask for these days. Darcy Mann, VictoriaGod’s busyRe: “Other hand clapping,” Letters, Feb. 17-23In a recently published letter to Monday, Alexandra Plaskin wrote that, “more blood has been shed in the name of a god than for any other reason.”Well perhaps, but not in the 20th Century, where Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, and men of their ilk starved and slaughtered millions in the name of their ideologies and “isms.”In those times apparently God was, to parphrase a Tom Waits song, away on other business.Paul McKinnon, Victoria

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